URAWA TELLS GUIDO A FAREWELL TO GIFT THE SEASON-DOUBLE
This was a part of football. Gamba Osaka outshot Urawa Red Diamonds to nearly dominate the field but Emperor's Cup went to Urawa again when Ryota Tsuzuki saved 20 shots and Yuichiro Nagai struck late-goal in Final of JFA Tenno-hai at National Stadium on New Year's Day. Reds had earned two straight victories in the tournament since the former club of Yokohama F Marinos, 1991-92, and had accomplished the double of J-league and Tenno-hai titles in season since Kashima Antlers 1997 as Urawa coach Guido Buchwalt were set to fly home with these three titles.
Gamba controlled the game, especially during the second half perfectly, when Akira Nishino's men made chances somewhere. The ball struck by Magno Alves de Araujo, Ryuji Bando, Yasuhito Endo and more, the former Gamba Tsuzuki denied all. In a while Urawa put on Nagai at the one-top position replacing Brazilian striker Washington(injury) but it didn't work well to allow the opponent lots of scoring chance. It was late that Buchwalt changed the formation to send Masayuki Okano for Shinji Ono to two-top position following Nagai but he was lucky before subsutitute Makoto Hasebe found Okano challenging the defence to connect Nagai's sliding the loose ball past the goalie. Very, very lucky for Reds.
Both teams will force to a change until next season opened. I expect the season that Champion is made to take a difficult situation and that Urawa struggles for the top of Asia.
86th JFA Tenno-hai
Final at National Stadium (1 Jan)
Urawa 1-0 Osaka